The Australian Trade Commission has announced the winners of its Euro High Tech Tour competition, which will see 10 of Australia's most promising developers make connections with vendors, potential customers, partners and investors on an eight-day visit to London, Frankfurt and Stockholm.
Unlike previous Austrade competitions in which software and Web developers took out the lion's share of seats, the Euro High Tech Tour has been deliberately bent to cater for developers with a telco orientation or developers that sell into the telecommunications vertical.
"That was the bent of the mission," said Austrade's senior trade commissioner for High Tech Europe, Alison McGuigan-Lewis. "In terms of setting up reasonable interest in such a big market, it was easier to be vertical-market focused."
McGuigan-Lewis explained that in Europe, 3G communications are taking off and telecommunications companies are looking to gain extra revenue from existing systems. "At the moment it's [the telcos] that are open to discussions with small, innovative developers."
While some of the more mature companies involved will be looking at establishing partnerships on the tour, McGuigan-Lewis believes that, for at least half of them, any activity in Europe might be as far off as 12-18 months. "All of these companies are somewhere along the development curve," she said. "Those with no European coverage will be looking at the mental framework of how to prepare to enter these markets at a later date."
The winners include
Braintree Communications (QLD) - develops gateways and protocol converters.
Catalyst Interactive (ACT) - develops e-learning customer development and authoring tools.
Emagine International (NSW) - retention and loyalty marketing consultants for mobile operators.
Foursticks (SA) - develops Quality of Service server operating systems.
Future Fibre Technologies (VIC) - develops fibre optic sensing technologies.
Haliplex (VIC) - designs optical access devices for telecommunications carriers.
Mediaware Solutions (ACT) - develops video searching and editing tools.
Retriever Communications (NSW) - develops wireless services for field automation.
Sigtec Navigation (ACT) - designs and supplies GPS OEM boards.
Soprano Design (NSW) - develops software products for mobile network operators.